Granite City Steel, From State Street

State Street, what appears to have been the second of two major commercial streets along with Niedringhaus Avenue, is basically 100% vacant.  There are some stores converted to apartments.  But what is truly interesting about walking down the street is seeing how the U.S. Steel mill peeks out from behind the buildings.  In an era when factories are set in park-like settings, it’s interesting to see an industrial site so truly intertwined with the town in which it sits.

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  1. Scullin Steel on Manchester was sited much the same way as Granite: hard by the residential neighborhoods from which the workers came. The massive complex of buildings to the west–now mostly occupied by Major Brands (and only on the ‘first’ level)–is also an example of this. (I think it was American Foundry)I remember being a student at SLUH in my freshman year (’78), and taking the Manchester (76? 56?) bus to school. Passing by Scullin would bring in the odor of sulfur. Strangely enough, it was a working mill when the City kicked them out for the Marketplace fiasco.

    Must have been one hell of a noisy and smelly neighborhood sixty or so years ago.

    • I grew up in Granite City before the EPA made the mill clean up their emissions. The old story goes that just breathing the air back then was the eqivalent to smoking three packs of cigaretts a day.

      I remember asking my mother what was the terrible smell coming from the smokestacks all the time. All she said was, “A lot of bread and butter.”

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